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November 9, 2017

Loaded with bonus features, Pixar's "Cars 3" now available on DVD and blu-ray

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Poised to race into your home, “Cars 3” is now available on DVD and blu-ray loaded with extra content.

“Cars 3” clearly is an updated version of the original that shows a lot of creative spirit under the hood. Pixar artist Brian Fee’s 2017 directorial debut brought back the familiar animated cars voiced by Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt and Orlando’s Larry the Cable Guy, and it adds new characters and a score of actual NASCAR personalities.

“Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn't through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing's biggest stage!” Pixar Animation Studios describes the movie.

This third computer-animated film has, according to most reviews (including ours) at its release, retained that creative vroom of storytelling that the original “Cars” showed. So far, the film has grossed over $382 million worldwide.

Now, fans can watch “Cars 3” at their convenience with the DVD and blu-ray release. (The film was released on Digital HD on Oct. 24.) Of course, any new Disney DVD release is more than just the feature presentation, and “Cars 3” is packed with lots of fun bonus features. Here’s a list of some of what you’ll find in the Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD packages:

Blu-ray and Digital HD

** Miss Fritter’s Racing Skoool (Exclusive new mini-movie) – Enjoy blindsided testimonials from the Crazy 8’s, touting the transformative impact Miss Fritter’s Racing School has had in reshaping the direction of their lives.

** Theatrical Short: “Lou” – When a toy-stealing bully ruins recess for a playground full of kids, only one thing stands in his way: the “Lost and Found” box.

** Let’s. Get. Crazy. – Get schooled in the world of demolition derby, the “rules” of figure 8 racing, and how Pixar puts the crazy in the Thunder Hollow Crazy 8 race. This piece is hosted by Lea DeLaria.

** Legendary – Get a close, historical look at the racing legends Wendell Scott and Louise Smith, whose tenacity and perseverance got them into the race even when they weren’t invited.

** Ready for the Race – Disney Channel’s Olivia Rodrigo and NASCAR Racer William Byron check out the Hendrick Motorsports campus to showcase how real-world race training influenced the filmmakers.

** World’s Fastest Billboard – Blink and you will miss all of the graphics and “car-ified” advertisements created by Pixar’s Art team to make the ”Cars 3” world as believable as possible.

** Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could – Join Cristela Alonzo and the filmmakers on their journey to create a race-car trainer turned champion racer.

** Generations: The Story of “Cars 3” – For the story team, creating Lightning McQueen’s next chapter didn’t involve just a tune-up, but a complete overhaul.

** My First Car – A collection of illustrated first-car stories as narrated by members of the “Cars 3” cast and crew. “A Green Car on the Red Carpet with Kerry Washington,” “Old Blue,” and “Still in the Family.”

** 5 Deleted Scenes – Each deleted scene is set up with an introduction as to why it was removed from the film. Deleted scenes include “The Boogie Woogie,” “The Jars of Dirt,” “Lugnut,” “The Bolt,” and “More Than New Paint.”

** Cars To Die(cast) For – Take a look at the phenomenon of die-cast toy collecting and the more than 1,000 unique designs that exist in the Cars universe.

** Commentary – Brian Fee (Director), Kevin Reher (Producer), Andrea Warren (Co-Producer) and Jay Ward (Creative Director)

DVD

** Theatrical Short: “Lou” & “Commentary”





June 8, 2017

Where to find Cars characters at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

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With Disney-Pixar’s “Cars 3” hitting theaters next week, fans of Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater may be wondering where they can meet the popular characters at Disney Parks. If that is a major consideration for your family vacation, then it’s time to head to the West Coast where Disneyland boasts the only Cars Land to be found in Disney Parks.

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Quite frankly, even if the “Cars” characters aren’t your favorites, this collection of rides, restaurants and stores and more will wow you. That’s because stepping into Cars Land truly feels like you are stepping into Radiator Springs – and the canyons are breathtaking. My family and I visited Cars Land in Disney California Adventure for the first time in 2015 and just loved hanging out there. The signature attraction is Radiator Springs Racers, which could be compared to Test Track at Walt Disney World. The majestic red rocks that form the backdrop of the ride are a big part of what makes the area so immersive, and you can enjoy the view from many vantage points, including dining al fresco at Flo's V8 Café.

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My family and I also really enjoyed stopping by the Cozy Cone Motel almost every day for a snack, usually a frozen drink or soft-serve ice cream, and soaking up the atmosphere. Plus, there are two other “Cars”-themed rides, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters. Be sure to allow plenty of time to visit Cars Land -- both during the day and at night. Seeing the area lighted at night is amazing and a totally different feel than the daytime experience. (You can read more of my family's tips here.)

If you are planning a visit to Walt Disney World this summer, your little ones still can find the beloved “Cars” characters, but the experience will be immersive in a different way.

Previously, children and adults could actually ride in Lightning McQueen at stock-car speeds at the Walt Disney World Speedway. My daughter did just that and you can read about her experience here. However, since that time, the racetrack has been torn down to make room for other projects. There also used to be meet-and-greets with “Cars” characters at Hollywood Studios, but those ended when large sections of that theme park were closed for the Star Wars and Toy Story lands construction.

So, where does that leave a “Cars” fan in Orlando? Turning the wheel and heading to the Art of Animation hotel. One entire section of this hotel is devoted to the “Cars” franchise, and there are life-size reproductions of many of the familiar places and faces outside.

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Inside, if you choose to stay in the “Cars” suite, which sleeps six people, just about everywhere you look you will see “Cars” memorabilia. From the dining room table that converts to a Murphy bed to the traffic one lights to the black-and-white checkerboard floor, these suites will thrill any “Cars” fan. The “Cars” suites sleep six people and have a separate master bedroom, a kitchenette and two full bathrooms. There is a small pool located in this section of the hotel and it features the four traffic cones from the Cozy Cones motel. (Guests can choose to sit in lounge chairs inside the cones when they want shade.) The pool’s theme is reinforced with the building facades facing the pool painted like desert landscapes.

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Although the suites and the pool are for the exclusive use of guests registered at the hotel, the restaurant and the hotel grounds are open to everyone – and there is enough to see and do to make it worth your while to stop by if you have a diehard “Cars” fan in your family.

First, little ones might get a thrill from having breakfast, which is served from 7 to 11 a.m., in the Landscape of Flavors quick-service restaurant. That’s because they can choose Cars-themed waffles for breakfast, something that is unique to this location. Usually, there also are sweets that depict “Cars” characters for sale, as well, if you don’t make it for breakfast and want a treat for your little one.

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Afterward, take a walk outside through the “Cars” wing. Guests will see scenes from the movies, such as Luigi’s Casa Della Tires, Sarge’s Surplus Hut, Wheel Well Motel and Tow Mater’s Garage, come to life outside the buildings. They can take photos with life-size models of Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Sally, Flo, Ramone, Sarge, Fillmore, Luigi, Guido and more. This is as close to a meet-and-greet with “Cars” characters thatyou will get at Walt Disney World right now. But who knows what will be added to promote the movie? “Cars 3” debuts in theaters on June 16.


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March 24, 2017

Don't miss: Free Cars 3 Road to the Races activities at Disney Springs this weekend

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A promotional tour for the upcoming Cars 3 movie is in Orlando for the weekend and it’s completely free and open to the public. Here’s your guide on what you can see and do, along with some tips for making the most of the event.

** The Road to the Races tour kicked off yesterday at Disney Springs, and it continues through Sunday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

** Road to the Races is set up in the old bus loop area, which is located outside Once Upon a Toy store on the Marketplace side. Your best bet for parking is the Lime garage, which is free.

** On the first day, we saw folks lining up about an hour before the Cars 3 area opened. I wouldn’t be surprised to see queues other days, given that the event takes place in a limited space and officials will want to manage crowds for a popular franchise.

** So, what can you and your children do at the event? One of the coolest things is the mobile Cinetransformer 90-plus-seat air-conditioned theater where you will be able to view a 10-minute (or so) film that shows some elements of how the animated movie was made and includes an exclusive clip from the actual movie. It’s upbeat and most likely will get you excited about the release of Disney-Pixar’s Cars 3 on June 16.

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** Another big attraction is, of course, “meeting” Lightning McQueen and two new characters from the movie, Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm. All three are life-size models that guests can pose with for photos.

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** There are plenty of other activities to keep everyone happy, too. Even at ages 12 and 14, my kids enjoyed competing against each other to see who could change a tire the quickest and become an honorary member of the pit crew. That competition was sponsored by Coppertone. They also liked the street art booth, sponsored by Alamo Rent A Car, that invited them to color on a giant mural of Lightning McQueen and friends.

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** Freebies include make-and-take cardstock Cars 3 characters (sponsored by NASCAR); samples of energy-boosting smoothies (Dole); and temporary tattoos, toothbrushes and toothpaste (Crest).

** Don’t worry if you forget your camera! At least two of the booths have cameras set up to take photos and then text or email them to you.

The Road to the Races tour will make 27 stops, including Disneyland in California right before the movie opens in theaters. To see the full schedule, go to CARS3tour.com

DISLAIMER: I was a guest of Walt Disney World at the Road to the Races tour at Disney Springs. This did not affect my story; my opinions are my own.


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